Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has concluded a 12-hour interview for the position of the country’s Chief Justice after facing questions about bias, former president Jacob Zuma and State Capture.
Zondo’s interview erupted into chaos late on Friday evening when Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Commissioner Julius Malema and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola engaged in a shouting match.
At issue was whether it was right for Lamola to suggest to Zondo that Gauteng Judge President be allowed to act as a judge in the Constitutional Court.
Malema asserted that Lamola had done this in an effort to privilege Mlambo in the interviews, a claim that Lamola vehemently rejected.
He says, “CJ Mogoeng Mogoeng writes to them, they don’t respond, they wait for him to go now they know that the CJ is gone you are now acting, we are going to look for ACJ then they start responding to Moegeng Moegeng’s letter during your time.
Lamola responded by saying, “No no no Acting Chairperson that is a lie, it’s a blue lie what Commissioner Malema is saying.”
Malema responded by saying, “No but don’t say I am lying, what do you mean I am lying, don’t say I am lying that is disrespectful if you are going to allow him to say I am lying. It’s wrong, I am on a platform here and I am not going to be called a liar.”
“Kill for Zuma”
Zondo was grilled on whether he had brought the judiciary into disrepute by meeting with African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma in 2008 over Julius Malema’s “Kill for Zuma” comments.
Malema made the utterances when he was still President of the ANC Youth League ahead of the ANC’s National Conference held in Polokwane.
In questioning Zondo, Malema said the meeting was unethical for a judge and the Acting Chief Justice had failed to publicly disclose the relationship he had with the former President Jacob Zuma.
Zondo in his defence said he acted as a private citizen to avoid bloodshed.
“I indicated that I was concerned about it as a citizen. I was concerned it would end up with violence. I thought he should have spoken to you. He listened to me and I give him credit. He understood but my recollection is that he said he had not spoken to you in public but he had spoken to you in private. But I was concerned about the possibility of violence,” says Zondo.
Malema says he knew that was the case and that he views such a meeting as “political interference by a judge”.
“Because that was a statement made in a political rally and you left and went to meet with President Zuma to discuss my political position – as a judge and proceeded to in matters where the organisation I lead and I looked at you … the organisation I lead came to litigate against President Zuma and you never indicated to court that you knew President Zuma like that, to a point where you can even discuss political issues with him. On two cases you brought before the Constitutional Court, you said there, never declared like everybody declares.”
In the video below, Malema questions Zondo about Zuma visit:
VIDEO: JSC Interview | Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo Part 1:
VIDEO: JSC Interview | Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo Part 2: